After suffering another massive defeat from the hands of the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Playoffs, the Houston Rockets decided to make a huge overhaul on their roster this summer. When Russell Westbrook became officially available on the trading block, the Rockets immediately grabbed the opportunity to pair James Harden with a young and MVP caliber point guard. In a blockbuster deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Rockets traded Chris Paul and multiple first-round picks to bring Westbrook to Houston.
According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, during the Rockets’ media day, Russell Westbrook gave a clear warning to the league, saying that his tandem with James Harden would be “scary” to other NBA teams, especially those who are aiming to win the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season.
“It’s going to be scary, that’s all I can tell you,” Westbrook said. “It’s going to be scary — not for us.”
Playing against a team with two MVP caliber players like Russell Westbrook and James Harden would undeniably be a huge headache to any title contender in the NBA. Westbrook and Harden are almost unstoppable on the offensive end of the floor, and both of them could excel in crucial situations. However, having two ball-dominant players also posed some problem to the Rockets.
Since the blockbuster deal with the Thunder, most people are already wondering if James Harden and Russell Westbrook could co-exist on the Rockets. Harden and Westbrook may already have experienced playing together in Oklahoma City but during those times, “The Beard” was only serving as the sixth man while “Brodie” was one of the focal points of the Thunder’s offense. Harden is well aware of the problem that they are currently facing, saying that they are things that they need to figure out in terms of ball distribution and how to complement each other offensively.
However, James Harden is very confident that he and Russell Westbrook could find a way to make things work since they have a mutual desire to win their first NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season.
“If Russ got it going and Russ is having one of those games that we’ve all seen before, guess what I’m going to do: sit back and watch the show, and vice versa,” Harden said. “It’s just a part of basketball. So you can’t sit up here and say, ‘Oh, Russ is going to have the ball for the first half and I’m going to have the ball the second half.’ No, things happen through the course of the game that you just flow with and go with.”
In the years they spent playing against each other, James Harden definitely knows the pros and cons of bringing Russell Westbrook to Houston. Harden said that he’s willing to take full responsibility if ever the Rockets fall short of accomplishing their main goal in the 2019-20 NBA season.